Betcha didn’t know that June 10 is officially National Iced Tea Day! And since here in the South we like our tea like we like our gentlemen – sweet! – we’re going with sweet tea in honor of this fine holiday!
When I was younger, every year we had a gymnastics banquet in downtown Mobile. It’s was so much fun to get dolled up (with giant bows, of course), and head down to the ballroom with friends. One of my favorite things about the banquet was the sweet tea in pretty glass goblets – it just seemed so fancy! I’ve since grown into an Arnold Palmer kind of girl, but I still feel fancy drinking out of a goblet! :)
A few fun facts about this delightful delicacy:
— In the early 1900’s, sweet tea was considered a luxury status symbol, since the main ingredients – tea, ice, and sugar – were prohibitively expensive. It seems strange now, but the ice was actually the most prized ingredient, since it had to be shipped in from afar.
— The oldest known recipe for sweet ice tea was published in 1879 in a community cookbook called “Housekeeping in Old Virginia” by Marion Cabell Tyree. Ms Tyree was a native Texan, and suggested making the recipe with green tea.
— In 2003, the Georgia House introduced a bill making it a “…misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature” to sell iced tea in a restaurant and not also offer sweet iced tea on the menu. The bill never went to vote, but I sure know a few folks who would have voted it through!
— In most Southern states, sweet tea has become such a signature drink that the use of the word “tea” is largely used to refer specifically to cold sweet tea, and not to hot or plain varieties.
Images from top to bottom: Kate Headley via Southern Weddings, Heather Forsythe via Southern Weddings, Ulmer Studios via Southern Weddings, Amy Rae Photography via Southern Weddings, and Sarah Kate Photographer via Southern Weddings
We love the idea of serving tea at weddings, whether with fun striped straws, in mason jars, or both! Sweet tea is a staple of sweet Southern hospitality, and is sure to make your guests feel right at home.
With lemon, raspberry, mint or all of the above? How do you take your tea? Will you be serving it at your wedding? Leave a comment below with your favorite tea recipe – we’d love to try it sometime! And, of course, however you take your tea, we hope it’s always sweet!
P.S. For more gorgeous Southern sips, make sure you check out this Pinterest board!
P.P.S. We can’t talk about sweet tea without mentioning the Sweet Tea Society! Are you a member yet?